- A farmers' organisation is demanding that the government launch an investigation into the tobacco ban
- They want the government to establish the extent of illegal cigarette sales and if any government officials have benefited from the lockdown regulations
- The government has however argued that the cigarette ban is in place for the benefit of South African citizens
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Farmers' organisation TLU SA has demanded that an investigation into the tobacco ban and sale of illegal cigarettes be launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
They want to establish if any government officials have benefited during the lockdown form the tobacco ban.
Briefly.co.za reports that the government has cited health reasons for the ban and has argued passionately about maintaining the ban for the benefit of the healthcare system and South Africans.
Cooperative Governance Minister Dlamini Zuma has had to publicly deny that she and Adriano Mazzotti, a cigarette trader, are friends.
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TLU SA president Louis Meintjies does not believe that the tobacco ban is effective, according to JacarandaFM.
"The ban on the sale of tobacco products serves no purpose since smokers turned to the black market to buy cigarettes. The only people to benefit from the situation, are those involved in the illegal trade of cigarettes.
"It is the government’s responsibility to investigate these damning accusations and report back to South Africa.
"Unfortunately, the government’s record of dragging their feet when it comes to investigating corruption among its members substantiates the image of a government that condones corruption.”
In other news, Briefly.co.za reported that two months into the Covid-19 lockdown, the South African government faces a multitude of court challenges and the biggest one yet is the legal challenge to the cigarette ban. The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA) has begun a legal bid to have the government's cigarette ban overturned.
Court documents published by FITA list the President of the Republic of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa and the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as primary respondents.
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